Fibre-to-the-node broadband connections do not deliver advertised speeds as often as other NBN technologies, data from the Australian competition watchdog has revealed.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s latest broadband measurement report, released on Thursday, showed people who are connected to the national broadband network via fibre-to-the-node – which uses more existing copper wiring than any other technology – experienced a nine-point lower percentage of advertised speed compared with people on fibre-to-the-curb, fibre-to-the-premises and the cable network connections.
The report showed the average download speed for fibre-to-the-node users was 80.8% of the speed they had paid for, and 79.7% in the busiest times. This compares with 90.7% on fibre-to-the-curb, 90.1% on cable, and 89.7% on fibre-to-the-premises.
This total included 11% of users who were identified as having underperforming services that had speed tests under 75% of the maximum download speed and therefore required to have their service remediated.
When underperforming services were excluded, most other technologies remained at the same percentage, while fibre-to-the-node jumped up 8 percentage points.
Fibre-to-the-node is fibre cable right up to a box, usually on the end of a street, that then uses the existing Telstra copper phone lines for the remaining distance to people’s homes. It means the speed received depends on the quality of the copper line and the distance from the node to a person’s home.
The report, which gathered data from 1,125 volunteer NBN users in August, found Optus performed best out of retailers, with an average download speed of 88.5% of the advertised plan, and 87.6% during busy hours.
Vocus-owned telcos Dodo and iPrimus performed worst at 79.4% overall, and 76.4% in busy hours.
The report continues to show ongoing performance issues with fibre-to-the-node, which is now the most common way people connect to the national broadband network. NBN has sought to play down issues with the technology, last month going as far as to suggesting its own methodology for speed test comparisons with the rest of the world based on the download speed people pay for, rather than they actually achieve on the NBN.
While Optus performs well on the NBN, the company is also moving ahead with its plans to move into 5G for home broadband that will directly compete with the NBN. The company this week expanded its $70 per month unlimited data 5G plans out to 138,000 homes.
The company’s cheapest NBN plan for 50 megabits per second download speeds is $70, but the 5G plan is currently boasting much higher speeds, up to 400 megabits per second in off-peak periods.
The post Homes connected to NBN via fibre-to-node only getting 80% of speed they paid for appeared first on The Guardian.